HR Resources


Returning to Work After the Great Coronavirus Shutdown

Written by Sandy Seay, Seay Management Consultants

As we embark on this journey of re-opening business and calling our employees back to work, we realize that we’re going to have to do some things differently, certainly for the short haul, perhaps for the long run. Read More.


How Companies Can Get Employees Back to the Workplace Safely

Coronavirus made working from home the norm for most of 2020 and into 2021, however some businesses have begun to gradually return to their offices. As people across the world ease into what was once normal, many remain concerned of potential outbreaks at work, massive shut downs, companies policies to avoid infections, among other issues. While the idea of returning to work in person may sound a bit anxiety-inducing, this guide will navigate what precautions companies are taking as well as what employees can do to keep themselves safe. Read more.


Employee Pay and the Coronavirus

Written by Sandy Seay, Seay Management Consultants

Currently, government and public health experts are issuing warnings worldwide of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Regardless of employment regulations, this pandemic will present extraordinary circumstances that will result in major impacts on how you operate your business during this period of uncertainty. Strict adherence to leave policies helps to minimize exposure to risk in normal operating circumstances, but when a pandemic strikes, flexibility and consideration go a long way in maintaining good employees.

If you do choose to make exceptions, be mindful to not engage in discrimination - ensure that such exceptions are based on legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons and are consistently applied across the workforce. It is our hope that, by highlighting several key points, we can assist your business in preparing to deal with this pandemic. Click here to learn more.

More Articles from Seay Mangement Consultants:
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Reductions in Workforce Due to COVID-19

As a benefit of membership, NPMA members can call, email or text Seay Management Consultants to speak with one of their HR consultants free of charge regarding any employment issue that arises in your business. Click here for a comprehensive menu of services provided.


OSHA Guidance

OSHA recommends all employers have on file a complete Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP). This document should include anticipated responses to foreseeable workplace safety and health issues. Insperity recommends your IIPP include a response mechanism to address circumstances in which outbreaks of contagions affect your business. Click here to learn more.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidance for Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

OSHA has released Enforcement Guidance for Respiratory Protection and the N95 Shortage Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic allowing for the extended use of respirators under certain conditions. 

Additionally, OSHA has published Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.

OSHA Issues Interim Guidance on Respirator Decontamination

OSHA has published interim enforcement guidance on decontamination for filtering facepiece respirators (including N95 masks).  The guidance notes that when respiratory protection is required, but acceptable alternatives are not available there is limited available research on methods for decontaminating face masks.  As of 24 April 2020, OSHA, based on NIOSH-evaluated research is advising against the use of dry heat for decontamination.

Read the OSHA Guidance Document and the NIOSH-evaluated research summaries

State Specific Guidance:




OSHA Published Poster Highlighting 10 Measures Employers Can Take to Reduce Worker Exposure to COVID-19
Available in English and Spanish


Business Preparedness

This is intended to address serious situations (e.g., public health officials mandate quarantines of an entire city or parts of a city, or infections are so widespread that employees are afraid to come to work).  As CDC and PHAC guidance indicate, the situation may change rapidly and there may not be much time to figure out these details in the event of a rapid spread of cases.

  • Determine which employees must work from home to facilitate business continuity (“core employees”).
    • This likely includes exempt, managerial employees, but it may encompass non-exempt, administrative employees who know how to get certain things done.
    • Make sure employees’ work-from-home capabilities are intact (internet connection, printer/scanner, laptop, etc.), and take steps now to ensure any necessary equipment is available to such employees.
  • Determine which employees would ideally augment the core employees.
    • This might include customer service, IT, and communications employees.
    • Make sure employees’ work-from-home capabilities are in place for the extent of the work they would need to do.
  • Plan now for the IT remote access (and security), conference call, and other technical capabilities needed for a dispersed workforce.
  • If your business involves delivery of physical goods, re-stocking of supplies, or services performed at another business location, coordinate with those businesses to determine the best approach to business continuity in the event of more widespread infections. 
  • Consider how your business would be impacted by an illness-based shutdown or slowdown at your suppliers.  You may want to stockpile certain components or other goods to be ready for such an event.
  • Determine how you will address pay for non-exempt employees who work remotely during a closure.
    • How will employees record their time when working remotely?
    • Practically, how can you enforce how much employees work?
  • Determine how you will address pay for all employees who do not work.
    • After exhaustion of any paid leave benefit, will non-exempt employees have any additional pay to help them in the event of a two-month closure?
    • Will exempt employees who perform no work be instructed not to perform work so they do not create arguable obligations of entitlement to pay for checking e-mails, making sporadic calls, etc.?
    • Are there any resources (e.g., paying for delivery of groceries) you want to make available to all employees during a business closure?